Jordan Lyles warmed up in the Houston Astros’ bullpen, watching the Chicago White Sox load the bases with two outs in the ninth inning and realizing the situation he was about to be thrust into.
With the Astros clinging to a two-run lead, Lyles was called on to get the final out in his first career save opportunity. He worked back from a 3-0 count against Chicago’s Avisail Garcia and struck him out looking to give the Astros the 10-8 win Monday night for their third win in four games.
Lyles was available in the bullpen with Houston using a six-man rotation and it being his day to throw a side. The right-hander, who was the Astros’ third pitcher of the ninth, said he couldn’t recall saving a ballgame at any level of his baseball career.
“It’s just one of those last-minute things,” Lyles said. “I fell behind 3-0 and started to throw the ball over the plate. Luckily, [Garcia] took the last pitch and [home-plate umpire Adrian Johnson] called it a strike.”
Matt Dominguez hit a tiebreaking solo homer with two outs in the ninth inning and Chris Carter followed with his second home run of the game to put the Astros in position for the win.
Houston squandered a five-run lead and trailed 8-7 — after Chicago scored five in the sixth inning — before tying the score on Carter’s RBI single in the seventh.
White Sox reliever Addison Reed (5-2) struck out Jose Altuve and Jason Castro to open the ninth before Dominguez put Houston back ahead with his 19th homer, a shot to left field on a 1-0 pitch.
“I felt awesome out there,” Reed said. “I felt great. I felt I had everything working and made a couple bad pitches. I hung a slider to Dominguez and he made me pay for it.”
Carter then added his 25th of the season.
David Martinez (1-0) pitched 22⁄3 innings to get his first major-league win, recovering after surrendering three runs in the sixth.
Carter finished 3 for 4 with the two homers and four RBIs in his third career multihomer game.
His two-run homer in the fifth gave the Astros a 6-1 lead before the White Sox rallied for the lead. It was sweet redemption for Carter against his former organization.
“It’s great to beat the team that drafted you and traded you away when you come back here and [hit two homers] here,” Carter said.
Jeff Keppinger homered to start the bottom of the fifth and right fielder L.J. Hoes dropped Gordon Beckham’s fly ball near the wall, which would have been the third out of the inning, allowing a run to score pulling Chicago within three. Alejandro De Aza finished with four hits to tie his career high set July 20 against Atlanta.
Brandon Barnes opened the top of the sixth with a double, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Andre Rienzo’s wild pitch to push the lead to 7-3.
The White Sox then took the lead with five runs in the bottom of the inning.
Dunn had a two-run homer, his 30th of the season, to become the second left-handed hitter in White Sox history to have consecutive 30- homer seasons. Jim Thome did it previously from 2006-08.
Martinez came on with one out and gave up a single to Keppinger, a double to Dayan Viciedo and an RBI single to Josh Phegley of Terre Haute. Phegley, who played catcher, finished 2 for 4 with a walk, two runs scored and a run batted in.
Martinez then balked to allow Viciedo to score the tying run and De Aza’s RBI single to left against a drawn-in infield put Chicago ahead.
Astros starter Brett Oberholtzer allowed only one run through four but failed to get out of the sixth and exited after giving up five runs and eight hits in 51⁄3 innings. Beckham had a run-scoring grounder in the third to get the White Sox on the board.
There was plenty of sloppy play between the teams with the two worst records in the American League. The White Sox and Astros combined for three errors leading to three unearned runs, three wild pitches, a balk and countless mental mistakes.
The Astros took the lead with three runs in the second inning off Rienzo. Castro led off with a solo home run, and Garcia’s fielding error on Barnes’ single allowed two runs to score. Rienzo allowed seven runs (five earned) on nine hits in six innings with two wild pitches.
“He wasn’t as sharp as he’s been earlier by any means,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “It’s one of those that you just chalk it up to a bad night.”